As we float into November, we’re also gearing up to pull out our traditional Thai costumes to rejoice under the twinkling full-moon sky. Loy Krathong, or the candlelight festival, is always the most anticipated festival of the year for many.

From the legends we’ve heard, during the Sukhothai period (which, fun fact, translates to be ‘the dawn of happiness’), a royal consort named Nang Noppamas created lotus-shaped vessels from banana leaves and presented them to the king. As a sign of gratitude for the Goddess of the River, thus marked the first-ever Krathong to float on the river. As since, to honour Nang Noppamas,  beauty pageants are also held as part of the festival nowadays.

Why do we float the Krathongs? It’s a way to let go, to float away all the grudges or negativity you’ve been holding on to, and to finally start fresh. As the Krathong drifts away, you are blessed with a year of good luck.

Loy Krathong is celebrated on the 12th lunar month of the Thai calendar. This year, the full moon festival will take place on 11 November 11 2019. Whilst we construct our own eco-friendly Krathongs this year, here are some of the places you can enjoy Loy Krathong and celebrate in true Thai style.

[Hero and Featured image credit: The Peninsula]

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Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok

When it comes to heart-warming hospitality and romantic views of the Chao Phraya River, nowhere quite beats the Shangri-La Hotel’s riverside ambiance. This month, the hotel brings a ‘dawn of happiness’ for visitors to celebrate the festival of light with delicious food, fireworks, and exciting activities. Head to the Riverfront Poolside (Adult: THB 5,800 Child: THB 2,900) for a fun-filled night of international and local delights, Thai drum performances, Isaan dance performances, and a Nang Noppamas beauty contest. Or join the Horizon Cruise (Adult: 5,800 Child: THB 2,900) for an international buffet and float your candlelit krathongs on the River of Kings. Feel the Thai heritage of the Sukhothai Kingdom right here in the capital city.

Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok, 89 Soi Wat Suan Plu, New Road, Bangrak, Bangkok.

For reservations, call +66 2 236 7777 ext. 6205 or email restaurants.slbk@shangri-la.com.

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Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel

To indulge in an authentic Thai culinary journey, head to the Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel where you can immerse yourself in a gracious Siamese journey. Relish in the authentic Thai buffet dinner (THB 1,299++ per person) at Spice Market for bold flavours. The buffet will include your favourite Tom Yam Goong Yod Maprow (Spicy prawns soup mushrooms), Kaow Soy Gai Krob (Northern style egg noodles), Gaeng Kua Gluay Mooyang (Red curry with raw banana), grilled pork in coconut milk, and many more sumptuous dishes. Admire the beautiful decor and Krathongs in the hotel and let go of all your worries.

Spice Market, Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel,155 Rajadamri Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok.

For reservations, call +66 2 126 8866 Ext. 1232 or email spicemarket.asia@anantara.com.

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Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

Famed as a beauty of late 19th-century charm, the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok needs no introduction when it comes to regal elegance. To celebrate the moonlight festival in the most prestigious way, head to the Riverside Terrace at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, and immerse yourself in this notable ritual by showing your appreciation to the Goddess of River. Embark on an enchanted night that will include traditional dance shows, appetising dishes, and stunning fireworks. Each guest will be offered a Krathong to float down the Chao Phraya River. Get in the spirit and make sure you style yourself in your best Thai traditional costumes.

River Terrace, Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, 48 Oriental Avenue, Bangkok; + 66 (2) 659 9000 ext 7201.

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Nai Lert Park Heritage Home

There’s no better place to celebrate than at a Thai heritage home in itself – Nai Lert Park Heritage Home. Enjoy a “Night at the Museum” (Adult: THB 250, Child: THB 120) while you swing through the rich history of Nai Lert Park and float your eco-friendly ‘Bread Krathong’ at their beautiful pond in the garden. Loy your Krathong at our city’s hidden gem for an enchanting sight.

Nai Lert Park Heritage Home4 Soi Somkid Ploechit Rd, Bangkok.

For reservations, call +66 2 253 0123 or email museum@nailertgroup.com.

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The Peninsula

The Peninsula is inviting us for an enriching experience of the most picturesque festival in Thailand. Head early to The Peninsula during the afternoon for the Krathong-making competition and the long drum procession, and stay for the beauty pageant during the dinner. Afterward, float your Krathong to illuminate the river under the fireworks. The Peninsula offers a plenty of choices from dining at a Gala buffet dinner at River Café & Terrace (THB 6,500 net per person), a six-course Thai set dinner at Thiptara (THB 6,500 net per person), to the gala buffer dinner at The Peninsula Lawn (THB 6,500 net per person). All of them come with a Krathong. The Peninsula brings its sophisticated Thai charm to this festivity with the perfect blend of tradition, grace, cuisine and entertainment. You wouldn’t be able to find timeless elegance with contemporary comfort anywhere else to embrace this Thai culture. Make sure to book your reservation in advance.

The Peninsula, 333 Charoen Nakhon Rd, Khlong San, Bangkok. 

For reservations, call +66 2 020 2888. 

Alisha Pawa
Writer
Alisha is a passionate dancer and is always creating her own choreographies. She is a fan of rom-com novels, a coffee-drinker who loves tea, and is always on-the-go for her midnight chocolate cravings. She hopes to tick-off her never-ending bucket list one day by hosting her own travel show.